Pancreatic cancer is cancer in the tissue of the pancreas. The pancreas is a large gland located behind the stomach. Its function is to produce:

  • digestive enzymes that break down food so it can be absorbed into the body
  • hormones, including insulin, which helps keep your blood sugar levels stable

The most common type is adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Pancreatic cancer usually spreads quickly; the symptoms occur quite late in the development and therefore the prognosis is poor. In addition, complete surgical removal is not possible.



The symptoms of pancreatic cancer usually appear when the cancer is in the advance stage. The most usual symptoms are:

  • pain in the abdomen or the back
  • weight loss
  • jaundice – when the cancer is in the head of the pancreas; in this case, it blocks the bile duct, so bile builds up in the body
  • itching
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • indigestion, bloated stomach
  • fatigue
  • depression



The cause of pancreatic cancer is not exactly known. It is known that cancer occurs due to abnormal growth of cells, which do not die in their programmed time, forming a tumour. More often the cancer cells develop in the ducts of the pancreas.


Risk Factors

The risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer are:

  • age – developing between 50 and 80
  • pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • overweight
  • diabetes
  • gene mutation, Lynch syndrome
  • helicobacter pylori
  • long-term hepatitis
  • heavy alcohol use
  • family history
  • smoking
  • previous radiotherapy
  • diet
  • weight
  • gum disease



The complications from pancreatic cancer are:

  • jaundice – when the bile builds up, stenting (opening) the bile duct or bypass may be necessary
  • severe pain in the stomach
  • weight loss – due to nausea, but also because the pancreas does not produce the digestive enzymes, so the food does not absorb properly
  • pressing the small intestine and thus blocking the digested food from the stomach to the intestines



Prevention of pancreatic cancer may be possible when reducing the factors of risk, although it is not proven. This involves leading a healthy lifestyle, eating healthy diet, regular exercises, healthy weight, not smoking.